This quote was the first thing I saw on my Facebook wall when I woke up this morning. It was from my daughter. I am convinced she is speaking for every single woman that walks the face of this earth. I am not saying we all are obsessed with fear and let it consume us every time we take a walk, but women do fear men. All of us.
Think about your fears for a moment. Not tsunami or sink hole variety fears, but knife wielding, sex attacking, purse snatching, hitch hiking, help you change a tire, can you spare a dime, will you help me find my doggie little girl, kind of fears. Are they women perpetrators? Any of them?
As a twenty something, like my daughter is now, I would not admit to being afraid of men. I was a feminist and strong woman in the “Age of Aquarius.” Many of us believed in the promise of a new beginning, “Harmony and understanding, Sympathy and trust abounding…” I hitch hiked. I walked the streets of Portsmouth, NH after dark. I had a belief that people were inherently good. I believed that women had finally come into their time. We could do anything men could do. We had power and we were strong.
In the late 1970’s a woman was murdered in my town. Down the street from where I lived. With a screwdriver. In her home. She was my age. It hit me then, that things would never change. I had these fears all along that were blurred by the hope and optimism of my generation. After that close to home crime, I carried keys between my fingers after dark. I didn’t walk fearlessly. I paid attention to the streetlights and picked up the pace.
Little girls who are loved and protected by their moms and dads fear’s are men. The monsters under their beds are men. The burglars they think might break in are men. The stranger danger people are men. The middle school art teachers who lure them into a closet are men. The uncles, neighbors, family friends who touch them are men. The unknown reason that they can’t go without a shirt even though the boys can, are men.
What have we done to our little girls?
I am not a feminist who hates men. My life partner is a man. My dad was a great man who believed in feminism and believed in me. I have amazing brothers. Many of my friends throughout my life have been males, but when I sit in my hot tub in the back yard after dark and I am all alone and I get a creepy feeling, (even at the age of 56) and I have to run into the house real quick, it isn’t a woman I fear.